1309 Test Fire!

Whenever a steam locomotive restoration is nearing completion, it is crucial to ensure that the interior of all steam delivery passages are cleared of any debris that may have accumulated inside. This debris can be harmful to the locomotive if left uncleared, possibly scarring the interior of the valve cages and cylinders, or even damaging the bronze piston rings. Blowing out the locomotive’s cylinders involves opening the throttle, which allows steam to escape through the valve casings and cylinders, this is performed with the valves removed. This process is an essential component in any locomotive restoration, considered to be one of the final steps before the rebuild is complete.

The steam crew of Diversified Rail Services began the process of blowing down the locomotive’s boiler water today, which ensures the boiler is dry before being placed back inside the shop. Blowing down a boiler while hot is an essential step in ensuring its longevity, leftover stagnant water can be harmful to a boiler if left unattended.

Yesterday was only a mere glimpse into the future for both the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and 1309, but we need your help to make this a reality. To help us reach our goal, donate to the Western Maryland 1309 restoration at www.wmsr.com/1309.

Thank you for your continued support of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad!



1309 Restoration Restart | Week 1

We are excited to announce that the first full week under the 1309 Restoration Restart has wrapped up.  The crews are making a large amount of progress to push us closer to the re-wheeling.  This, of course, is made possible by your generous support.  Here are a few pictures and descriptions of what has been happening.

Robert has been welding, profiling, and dressing the 12 brake-shoe holders that will bring the locomotive to a stop.

Nathaniel installs pedestals inside the front engine frame that will serve as mounting points for the lubrication distribution system.

WMSR #1309 catches a few rays of sunshine as work continues forward in May 2020.

1 of 2 cross-compound steam driven air compressors being prepared for eventual installation on the front of WMSR #1309’s massive smokebox.

Front engine #1309. Pilot, lubrication, and rail washing systems have received attention this week.


The momentum builds as shop forces prepare the two engines for being installed in their rightful location underneath #1309’s massive boiler.

Soon the front engine will be reinstalled underneath the boiler.

#1309 is ready for the next step.

Western Maryland Railroad has been providing excursions of all kinds for over 30 years in the heart of Mountain Maryland.  We are a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization that has a focus on heritage railroading through restoration, education, and experience.

You can assist us with our restoration by donating online through our FlipCause Account

Caboose 1813 Restoration Started

Actor Eddie Deezen visits THE POLAR EXPESS Train Ride

We are excited to announce that actor Eddie Deezen will be visiting WMSR for the opening weekend of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.  Eddie is returning home on November 22nd and November 23rd to sign autographs and meet with guests an hour before each train ride.

“All Aboard” THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride this Christmas Season.  Inspired by the run-away hit film, this holiday favorite comes to life and you and your family take a ride on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.   Set to the music of the motion picture soundtrack, families will love their trip to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train.  Passengers will enjoy singing, dancing, and reading of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.  Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will present the first gift of Christmas.  On the return trip, everyone will receive a silver sleigh bell, heard by all of those who BELIEVE.  The joy of caroling and holiday entertainment will surely become an annual tradition for the whole family.  We encourage you to wear your favorite pajamas and join in on the magic.

You can purchase tickets online and reserve your seat before they are all gone.

Baltimore Street gets a new crossing

We are thankful to have received a grant to replace the crossing signals at Baltimore Street near our Cumberland Station.  For the first time, gates will warn and stop motorists from crossing the track as we depart and return home on the excursion.  The crossing is now compliant with FRA regulations and tied into the traffic light on Mechanic Street similar to the CSX crossing on the other side of Baltimore Street.

Many agencies help to make this a reality, Maryland State Highway Administration, Rhinehart Railroad Construction, and Diamondback Signal.  Both of our old signals were removed from service where one will be restored and the second one put up for auction.

Old railroad crossing sign.

The Polar Express arrives in Cumberland, Maryland

Cumberland, MD – Western Maryland Scenic Railroad will begin service to the North Pole on board THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride starting Saturday, November 23rd, 2019. The magical story comes to life when the train departs Western Maryland Railway Station for a 65-minute round-trip journey to the North Pole.

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Once on board, hot chocolate and treats are served as passengers read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where each child is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell. Chefs aboard each car lead passengers in singing Christmas carols on the ride back to the Western Maryland Railway Station.

The journey begins Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 and runs through December 23rd, 2019 on select dates. Exact dates, fares and excursion times are available by calling 301-759-4400 or by visiting www.wmrs.com. Ticket prices for children (ages 2-11) range from $50.00 to $80.00 and for adults from $60.00 – $85.00 depending on date and class of service. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride!


Official THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides are licensed by Rail Events Inc. on behalf of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Inc. Since 2007, Rail Events Inc. has held exclusive license to operate THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 


THE POLAR EXPRESS film is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s classic Christmas picture book, which tells the story of a boy who takes a magical Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa. First published by the Houghton Mifflin Company in 1985, The Polar Express became an instant family favorite and has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. In 1986 it won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for Illustration.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world. WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, the Wizarding World, Looney Tunes, and Hanna-Barbera.

The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

About Rail Events Inc.

Rail Events Inc. is the industry leader in rail-related special events management. In 2018, the company licensed events that hosted over one million guests at 50 partner railroads in the US, Canada, and the UK. Rail Events Inc. and Rail Events Productions are wholly owned subsidiaries of American Heritage Railways, which is the premier operator of heritage railroads in the United States.

THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s19)

Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS book and characters © & ™ 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.




Coffee & Snack Bar Now Open

We are excited to announce that our new snack bar area is now open on the platform level of the train station.  Inside you will find coffee, soft drinks, snacks, and candy.  It is the perfect stop while waiting for the train to arrive on the platform or stock up for the trip.

First Class Cars Now Available To Book

The Sullivan Family cut the ribbon to our new First Class cars this morning. First Class tickets are only a $10 upgrade and feature larger windows, ice cold air conditioning, and seats that recline back further than any bargain airline. Conductor Gene approves.

From Wikipedia:

The Budd Rail Diesel CarRDC or Buddliner is a self-propelled diesel multiple unit (DMU) railcars. Between 1949 and 1962, 398 RDCs were built by the Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The cars were primarily adopted for passenger service in rural areas with low traffic density or in short-haul commuter service and were less expensive to operate in this context than a traditional diesel locomotive-drawn train with coaches. The cars could be used singly or coupled together in train sets and controlled from the cab of the front unit. The RDC was one of the few DMU trains to achieve commercial success in North America. RDC trains were an early example of self-contained diesel multiple unit trains, an arrangement now in common use by railways all over the world.

Full Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budd_Rail_Diesel_Car

The Sullivan Family cuts a ribbon to celebrate the first day of using the RDC car for First Class service. With the two kids is Conductor Gene.

New Website Has Arrived

We know that you have been frustrated for a while and we have been hard at work over the last few months to bring you an easy to use website based around “An Experience For Everyone”.  We cleaned up the numerous links and photos with no explanation.  The new website is designed to look great on your desktop, tablet, or smartphone.  We want you to find the information you are looking for quickly and within several clicks, be able to purchase a ticket or buy something cool from our gift shop.  In the coming weeks we hope to launch a new ticketing platform that will also speed up and simplify the purchase options.  Thank you for dealing with the stress over the winter and spring months as we partnered with Allegany Media to create this new site.

We have also changed over many of our email addresses, you may now see things arriving in your inbox from easy to understand names like info@ and reservations@.  We know that we still have work to do, if you have suggestions on information that you would like to see or any hiccups, hit the contact us link and send us the information by the form.